BACKCOUNTRY LAND NAVIGATION
Today’s technology sometimes fools us into a false sense of security. In the uncharted and rarely traveled woods, relying on a smartphone for navigation will only work for so long and take us so far. Getting lost can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The inevitability of relying on techniques outside of modern technology is a definite reason to have solid navigational skills. These skills are critical when navigating terrain outside your comfort zone.
Our instructors have designed this course for anyone who travels on the trail or wishes to leave the beaten path to experience the wilderness in its purest form. We provide the essential skills students need, including compass usage, map reading, terrain analysis, and even the confidence to pick the safest routes available using proven measures.
With these skills, our students will have the ability to travel and use the terrain to their advantage. Students will learn that these various skills greatly increase one’s ability to overcome a crisis situation and find rescue.
Prerequisite: No Prerequisites Required
Wilderness Skills & Topics Covered:
Understanding the parts of maps and a compass
How to read a compass and a map
Navigating using a topographic map
How to orient a map using a compass
Using pace beads or rocks to determine the traveled distance
Adjusting for declination and its effects on the compass
Finding a bearing between two points on the map
Using a bearing to traverse off the trail
Accounting for terrain and vegetation to create travel plans
Use of handrails and backstops
Determine one’s current location
Navigating during the night
Explore the importance of wilderness awareness
And much more
This course requires hands-on participation by our students in order for them to establish and acclimate themselves to their individual paces. Land navigation is a skill that we acquire only through experience and practice in the field. Students will conquer the wilderness both during the day and at night, all while simultaneously using a map, compass, and pace beads or rocks. We strongly suggest that students wear adequately protective and supportive footwear and clothing, and prepare to walk short distances over uneven terrain.
Upon completion of the Land Navigation course, students will be able to effectively read a topographical map and describe the terrain of the area their maps represent. Students will also have the ability to adequately use only a compass and pace count to help them safely navigate their way in and out of wooded and rugged areas.
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